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Mrs. McGuire: The Department's contact centres deliver services tailored to the needs of specific groups of customers. Only those contact centres that are part of Jobcentre Plus Direct, dealing with Jobseeker Direct and benefit claims advise on employment opportunities in addition to benefit entitlement.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent by his Department on running call centres in (a) 200405 and (b) the first half of 200506, broken down by region. 
Mrs. McGuire: In their recent study Department for Work and Pensions, Delivering effective services through contact centres", the National Audit Office estimated that DWP contact centres cost £190 million to run in 200405.
As contact centres are an integral part of the businesses they support, it is not possible to precisely identify the specific costs of the call centre element. For example, the pension centres perform both contact centre and claims processing functions and it is not possible to precisely allocate the costs between these two functions.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) calls and (b) calls originating from (i) Edinburgh and (ii) Scotland were unanswered by his Department's call centres in (A) 200405 and (B) the first half of 200506. 
Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 14 November 2005, Official Report, column 1056W, which gives information on all calls. Information on where calls originate from is not collated.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many tenders (a) Capita plc. and (b) its subsidiaries have submitted to his Department in each of the last three years; and how many tenders were successful. 
In 2005 Capita Business Services Ltd. submitted tenders for three lots on the Communications Framework Agreement and was successful in one, Internal Communications Consultancy. They have not yet been awarded any business.
In 2006 Lonsdale Travel Ltd. tendered for five lots on the Government wide Travel Framework Agreement which includes DWP. They were successful in only one lot, Air and Ferry travel and have not yet been awarded any business.
In 2005 Capita Business Services Ltd. were awarded a place on two lots on the Department's UNITY Framework Agreement for the procurement of IS/IT services. They have not yet been awarded any business.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of children have been living in families with incomes of 40 per cent. or less of median income after housing costs in each year from 199596 to 200506; and if he will make a statement. 
In reply to your Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive is currently unavailable as he is communicating the Operational Improvement Plan to all Agency staff. I am responding on his behalf.
As at December 2005, the Agency had a total 327,000 uncleared potential applications. This consisted of 68,000 old scheme applications and 259,000 new scheme applications. These figures can be found in table 2 of the latest issue Agency's Quarterly Summary Statistics (QSS), a copy of which is available in the House library.
In the Operational Improvement Plan announced by the Secretary of State on 9th February 2006, the Agency set itself a target to reduce the volume of uncleared applications to the point where, by March 2008, 80% of new applications will be cleared within 18 weeks, and by March 2009, 80% of new applications will be cleared within 12 weeks. In addition, by March 2009, there will be no backlog in this area.
As a first step towards achieving these improvements, the Secretary of State has set the Agency a target for reducing the volume of uncleared new scheme applications over the coming year. By 31 March 2007 the Agency is to reduce the volume of
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets have been set for the Child Support Agency for each quarter from 2005 Q4 to 2007 Q4; and if he will make a statement. 
By 31 March 2007, accuracy on the last decision made for all new or old scheme maintenance calculations carried out and checked in previous 12 months to be correct to the nearest penny in at least 87 per cent. of cases.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what definition of 'non-resident parent' is used in respect of Child Support Agency decisions when the care is shared equally. 
Mr. Plaskitt: If each parent cares for a qualifying child for the same number of nights, the parent who does not receive child benefit for that child is treated as the non-resident parent. If neither parent receives child benefit, the parent who, in the opinion of a decision-maker, is not the principal provider of care of the child is treated as the non-resident parent.
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